A Georgia-based U.S. Army Ranger was killed in action Thursday in the Paktiya province of Afghanistan, the U.S. Army confirmed in a press release.
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher A. Celiz, 32, died during combat operations in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. He was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 75th Rander Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield.
"The 75th Ranger Regiment suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Sgt. 1st Class Chris Celiz. The Celiz family has been a critical component of our team and their community in Savannah, Georgia," Col. Brandon Tegtmeier, Commander, 75th Ranger Regiment said in the release.
He’s the second Georgia-based soldier to be killed in Afghanistan in the past week.
He was wounded by enemy small arms fire and died of his wounds after being medically evacuated. He was serving as a battalion mortar platoon sergeant and was in the process of reclassifying to the infantry branch.
News of his death comes as about 2,200 troops from the Georgia National Guard’s 48th Brigade are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in the coming months. They will train Afghanistan’s police and troops in a restive area near the Pakistan border.
Celiz was born in Summerville, S.C., and he enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 2007. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medals with Campaign Star among others.
"Sgt. 1st Class Celiz led from the front and always put himself at the decisive point on the battlefield. He was a loving husband and father, and he and his family have been an important part of the fabric that represents 1st Ranger Bn. and the Savannah community,” Lt. Col. Sean McGee, Commander, 1st Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment said in the release.
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